Saturday, March 05, 2005

CB Michael Hawthorne was cut according to Not a big surprise since Hawthorne looked terrible as the starting cornerback last season when given an early opportunity. He didn't have the speed to keep up with NFL wide receivers, and that's the kiss of death for a cornerback. followed up on the really disappointing release of FS Darren Sharper. The Packers currently have a roster with no starting offensive guards or safeties (unless SS Mark Roman has somehow improved a better player over the last two months) and have the first real big holes in their roster that they have had in a while. The last two times they had such big openings on their roster was two seasons ago when they only had LB Na'il Diggs pencilled in at starting linebacker and in 1999 when they had to draft cornerbacks with their first three picks. also reported that OG Mike Wahle didn't receive as big a signing bonus ($8 million instead of $11.5). Not that the Packers had a realistic chance at fitting under the salary cap in either situation. It was pretty interesting that a bidding war began over OG Marco Rivera between Detroit and Dallas, and pushed Rivera's signing bonus over ($9 million) over Wahle's. Wahle should have gotten more (just as good if not better player plus younger, but Rivera has been to a couple of Pro Bowls) but the Packers didn't have a chance at matching the contract demands for either player.

Just a reminder, I only talk about signing bonuses for contracts because that is the only true and guaranteed portion of the contract. Much of the total contract value for many signings is only for show (big $$$ at the end of the contract that the team would never pay). reported that Cleveland LB Kevin Bentley would meet with the Packers. At 6'1" 240lbs and a former 4th round selection, he is similar to Diggs but not as tall. Bentley didn't start in 2004, but he was 3rd on Cleveland with 91 tackles in 2003 with 2 pass defenses and 1 interception. Not very impressive stats, but he is only 25 years old so he could still improve. Not very exciting free agent news, but with the Packers cap blues, Bentley is probably the typical free agent the Packers will talk to this offseason.

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